Year One: Duquesa Bay

"Early in the Morning"

    In the woodlands near Quartz Lake, a group of teens and college kids are scattered around, some sleeping, some passed out, from the rave of the night before. Penelope "Penny" Renselier, dressed in black with a blood-red feather boa wrapped around her neck, is clustered under an olive army blanket with another girl and three guys. She wakes up to the sound of the funeral march playing on her beeper.

Penny: Uhh, fucking mosquitoes - where are my sunglasses?

    Fumbling through her black rubber and rhinestone purse, she slips on her shades and finds the offending instrument while the others around her start to stir.

Penny: (Reading the message) Dammit, mother!

    She tries to wrestle her leather jacket away from the boy next to her and slowly starts to get up.

Penny: Give me my jacket, Jere, I have to go home

Jeremy: Aww, c'mon Pen, you can stay a little longer

Penny: No, I can't - I have to help my parents with their boring elitist party at the relic house tomorrow night

Jeremy: (Brushing pine needles off of his Anime t-shirt) That could be fun

Penny: (Looking for her car keys) Yeah, it could - but it won't - it's part of my punishment for staying out all night last weekend

Jeremy: (Now standing beside her) At least you get to go home and help pick out what caviar to serve - I get to go home and wonder if we'll be having hot dogs or Spaghetti-O's for dinner

Penny: (Throwing a 50-dollar bill at him) Take the whole family to Sizzler, knock yourselves out

Jeremy: I'm not taking your money!

Penny: Yes, you are - you always do

Jeremy: (Pocketing it) True... but I just had to say that

Penny: (Fixing her nose ring) Thanks

    One of the boys gazes up at them from behind the blanket.

Byron: I'm dancing with the daisies, so orange and pretty - WAIT, it's Ghandi... and he's dunking doughnuts!

Penny: (Looking at Jere) Can you handle them?

Jeremy: They'll be fine

Penny: (Walking off) Get Vesper home first - and if Byron or Paco lay one finger on her while she's out of it, they'll have to answer to me!

    Jeremy nods with a half smile.

    Reapplying her black cherry lipstick, the Goth Chick trundles down a path to a junky-looking, funky sticker-covered, convertible, silver Jaguar and zooms off.

    As the new day greets Willowbrook Avenue, Morrigan taps on the kitchen window of the main house while Amethyst and her cats have their breakfast. The woman with the blonde and lavender cornrows motions at her to come in.

Morrigan: Good morning

Amethyst: Would you like something to eat? - we're having soymilk and rice flakes

Morrigan: (Taking a seat at the table next to Roshumba) No thanks, I'm not that hungry - did anyone happen to call here for me?

Amethyst: (Slurping her drink) Nuh-mm

Morrigan: Damn him

Amethyst: Man troubles?

Morrigan: I'm just waiting for some test results

Amethyst: Are you late?

Morrigan: NO, not that kind of test result

Amethyst: Does it have something to do with why you left so early this morning? - the roar of your engine interrupted the bliss of my sunrise yoga

Morrigan: Sorry, I just went to morning mass

Amethyst: Mass? - isn't that supposed to be on a Sunday? - today's Friday

Morrigan: (Observing an intricate arrangement of stones on the table) I know, I just like to go in the mornings sometimes

Amethyst: (Mouth full) You still believe in all of that stuff?

Morrigan: Some things I do, some things I don't - it's no better or worse than your rocks here

Amethyst: They're RUNES and CRYSTALS

Morrigan: The church may be riddled with misogyny, hypocrisy, and megalomania but I still find a certain kind of peace there - it was the last place I felt totally secure with both of my parents

Amethyst: (Patting one of her cats) You know where I felt secure with my folks?

    The petite brunette looks at her, awaiting an answer.

Amethyst: Hmm... anyway, there was a delivery for you

Morrigan: A package?

Amethyst: (Getting up) Sort of - follow me

    The two go through a beaded doorway into Amy's living room where a rack of elaborate ball gowns stands in the corner.

Morrigan: (Eyes lighting up) Oh my God!

Amethyst: All courtesy of KJ von Meer - he wants you to pick one

Morrigan: (Feeling the velvet on one of the dresses) They're absolutely exquisite - look at the lacework on this Victorian one

Amethyst: I know, check out the headdress on this Venetian one

Morrigan: How can I possibly choose?

Amethyst: It's certainly not your one-size-fits-all "costume in a bag" for Halloween - I have a friend in wardrobe at one of the movie studios and these dresses rent out for $500 a day or more

Morrigan: Are you kidding me?

Amethyst: (Trying on the headdress) You're looking at a at least four months worth of rent on this rack

Morrigan: (Putting back the dress she was holding) I can't afford this!

Amethyst: And people say I don't have all of my stars in a constellation - HE'S going to pay for it, silly

Morrigan: No, he's not

Amethyst: Don't give me one of those independent woman speeches - KJ can buy a rack of small countries - trust me, he can afford your costume

Morrigan: That's not the point

Amethyst: Of course not, the point is you're being proud... and stupid

Morrigan: Look, even if we were going together for awhile, I'd still find this really uncomfortable - but for a first date, it's just not right - it sends out all of the wrong signals

Amethyst: (Eyes closed and holding her hands to hear head) Wait, I'm getting a signal - yes... it's very clear - YOU'RE A BLOODY LOON, PICK A DAMN DRESS

Morrigan: NO - he can buy a dress but he can't buy me!

Amethyst: Like you have something better to wear?

Morrigan: (Walking off) As a matter of fact... I do

    In a large, villa-style but unmistakably tract house in the hills of Chaparral Heights, Dr. Javier "Sandy" Sanchez quickly finishes making love to his wife, Ona Rosa.

Javier: (Getting out of bed) I need to go, querida

Ona Rosa: (Husky voice) The kids don't have school today, why don't you stay home?

Javier: (Putting on his robe) I have a 9:00 class

Ona Rosa: Can't Tim cover for you?

Javier: (Stepping into the bathroom) They need to be PROPERLY prepped for their exam

Ona Rosa: (Sighing into her pillow) Then please come home at lunch so I can help Mama with your costume for tomorrow night

Javier: (Starting to shave) Is that tomorrow night?

Ona Rosa: Don't you dare back out of this, Javier!

Javier: Don't worry, I will do my best to be there, but I have a lot of important matters to take care of - the EPA has asked me to be their chief advisor to the team investigating the Santa Conchita River spill

Ona Rosa: (Somewhat disappointed) That's wonderful, honey - but I don't want to go to this event alone, I feel so out of place at these things

Javier: Why?

Ona Rosa: I don't know, I just do

Javier: (Coming out of the bathroom to give his wife a hug) Well, DON'T - you should have more self-confidence like your sister

Ona Rosa: Self-confidence or arrogance?

Javier: (Returning to the bathroom) Whatever it is, it works

Ona Rosa: Sorry, I do not wish to portray the hot-blooded Latina stereotype Anita revels in

Javier: It's better than being a mouse

Ona Rosa: ARE YOU SAYING I'M A MOUSE?

Javier: You're twisting my words again

    Ona Rosa falls silent as Sandy brushes his teeth with vigor.

Javier: (Spitting out the toothpaste) Besides, you'll have Erika and KJ there for you

Ona Rosa: I want my husband there for me

Javier: (Retrieving the messages on his phone) DAMN, that girl won't leave me alone!

Ona Rosa: What's wrong?

Javier: The new KCON reporter, she keeps pestering me for test results - didn't even interview me and now she expects favors

Ona Rosa: Maybe it's important

Javier: (Getting dressed) I'll check with Tim when I get in

Ona Rosa: I can expect you at lunch, right?

Javier: I thought you were going out with Anita today?

Ona Rosa: She's coming by to take us to the beach and then we'll be going shopping for Uncle Hector's birthday present

Javier: (Looking at the clock) That sounds like fun

Ona Rosa: I can expect you at lunch, RIGHT?

Javier: (Kissing her on the cheek before he goes) Yes, yes - I promise

    Dr. Sanchez grabs an apple off of the kitchen table and hurries out the door as Ona Rosa watches him from their bedroom window and sighs.

    Outside of a second-story condo overlooking Duquesa Bay, Captain Craig Phelps arrives dressed as a Pirate of the Caribbean. He delivers four, firm bangs on a large, brass lion's head doorknocker. The sound of shrieking is suddenly heard inside.

Craig: (Startled) ANITA, ANITA ARE YOU ALRIGHT IN THERE?

    The shrieking continues, causing him to break down the door.

Craig: (Running inside) ANITA

    He comes upon two naked women, precariously positioned on an ironing board. They all scream at the sight of each other.

Craig: (Covering his eyes but still peeping through his fingers) AWW, C'MON

    The lieutenant stops what she was doing, struts into the kitchen, and grabs a towel as the other woman runs into the other room embarrassed.

Anita: (Wiping herself) You are SO helping me fix that door!

Craig: I heard screaming

Anita: (Not minding the fact she's naked) It was GOOD screaming - can I get you some orange juice?

Craig: (Looking away) I'm fine, thanks

Anita: (Studying his costume) So, did the Coast Guard change uniforms overnight?

Craig: This is why I'm here - I have your costume in the car

Anita: Excuse me?

Craig: We will be attending the "Etruscan Nights" Charity Masquerade Ball tomorrow evening

Anita: HA, funny joke!

Craig: (Lifting his eye patch) No joke!

Anita: (Pouring herself some juice) I thought the admiral and his wife were going?

Craig: (Taking a seat at the kitchen table) He's sick and she's going to a dog show

Anita: Is she one of the contestants?

Craig: We will be attending in their place on behalf of the USCG - it's good community relations

    The lieutenant smiles as the lithe redhead emerges from the other room, fully dressed.

Anita: I will be participating in some "good community relations" of my own tomorrow night, not to mention, I have a gig a Muldoon's

Craig: (Firm) Cancel it!

Anita: Look, you like this PR bullshit, Crunch, I don't - you go!

Craig: I need a date

Anita: Aint that the truth

Craig: DON'T MAKE ME PULL RANK ON YOU, WE'RE GOING

Anita: Why don't you just tag along with Ona Rosa? - I'm sure Sandy will end up bailing on her again

Craig: (Scowling) He's such a piece of scum

Anita: (Getting a bowl of Cheerios) You know it, I know it, all of the Santa Conchita Valley knows it - BUT, Ona Rosa does not... and that's the problem

Craig: Then, I will be proud to have TWO lovely Fiore women on my arm!

Anita: In your dreams

Craig: Don't you want to see the "Duquesa's Tears" up close?

Anita: (Eating her breakfast) You mean that gaudy pearl necklace?

Craig: (Getting up) A 2.3 million dollar necklace on loan from the Barcelona Museum, solely for this event

Anita: Whatever - where are you going?

Craig: To get your costume out of my Jeep

Anita: Am I a pirate as well?

Craig: No, "bar wench"

Anita: HEY, NO FAIR, I WANT A SWORD

    The captain smirks at his lieutenant.

Anita: That was too easy

Craig: I'll tell you what - for playing nice and going to this event with me, we can spend today discussing your favorite "unknown creature" topic

Anita: (Excited) DARKFIN?

Craig: (Looking for the other woman) SHHHH

Anita: Like half of this town doesn't know

Craig: THEY DON'T, and it's our job to make sure they never do

    Returning from her morning jog along the beach, Erika enters the von Meer estate, bypasses her parents at the breakfast table and heads up to her to room. Inside on her bed, she finds KJ asleep with two women.

Erika: Time to wake up, Goldilocks

    She grabs the silver bucket full of melted ice and dumps the water on all three.

KJ: (Jumping up as the women scream) WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU DOING, RIKKA?

Erika: What in the hell are you doing in MY room, Kage? - nevermind, I can pretty much surmise

KJ: (Pulling on his pants) You didn't have to do THAT - ladies, the bathroom is right next door, please go get dressed

Erika: (Looking at his guests) And please be sure to wash your necks, it seems my brother has given you his own very special version of the Duquesa's Tears

    The women run out, giving Erika dirty looks along the way.

Erika: This house has 20 rooms, 12 of them bedrooms, you mean to tell me you couldn't use one that wasn't mine?

KJ: It was dark

    Dr. von Meer sighs as she kicks up a pair of lace panties off the floor and aims them at KJ's face.

KJ: (Catching them) Why do you care about this room? - you live on your boat!

Erika: It's still MY room and now it smells like peach schnapps, pot and petroleum jelly - I need to fumigate!

    The voice of their mother calls to them from below.

Pauline: Are you two alright up there?

Erika & KJ: (In unison) FINE, MOM

    Mostly dressed, the two women return.

Woman #1: KJ, can you take us home now?

KJ: Give me a minute

Woman #2: We'll meet you at the side entrance

Erika: (Watching them leave) Aren't you going on a date with Ms. McBride?

KJ: Yeah, what's your point?

Erika: (Shaking her head) You're such a whore

KJ: Thanks for reminding me - I need to call her and see what costume she picked out

Erika: Costume?

KJ: (Searching the room for his other shoe) For the museum ball tomorrow night?

Erika: (Flopping on a plush chair) Oh no

KJ: (Finding the shoe and stepping into it) You didn't pick yours out yet, did you?

Erika: (Covering her eyes with her hand) No

KJ: (Heading out the door) That's OK, Mom and Griffin already did - it's hanging in your closet, BYE BYE

Erika: PERFECT

KJ: (Popping his head back in) Oh, and Sandy called - he said you or Tim had some test results for him?

Erika: (Rolling her eyes) Right, thanks

    Dr. von Meer uses the French phone on her nightstand to call Dr. Sanchez.

Erika: Hi Sandy - the results of the tests... smelt innards - I'll see you at the lab

    After a few moments alone, Erika undresses and makes her way to the closet. She unzips the hanging garment bag to find a beautiful satin ball gown and matching mask.

Erika: I don't really need a costume

    Inside a darkened room, accented only by the glow of a fireplace, a man tosses the remainder of his cigar into the hearth as he speaks on the phone.

Voice: Is everything set for tomorrow night? - excellent!

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